In the Maha Upanishad we come across the following -

शून्यं तत्प्रकृतिर्माया ब्रह्मविज्ञानमित्यपि । शिवः पुरुष ईशानो नित्यमात्मेति कथ्यते ॥ ६१॥

VI-61. That Brahman has been identified with emptiness(Shunya), Prakriti, Maya and also consciousness. It has also been said to be "Shiva, pure Spirit, the Lord, the eternal and the self".

My question is How can Brahman be identified as Shunya? Wouldn't that also mean that ShunyavAda is valid as well?

  • Yes. The shunya (void) interpretation exists too. Shankara's interpretation of shunya is usually devoid of any ego (emptyness).
    – user29449
    Commented Mar 24 at 3:44
  • Śūnya doesn't necessarily mean the śūnyatā of Bauddha siddhāntas. It's even used in Trika.
    – Bingming
    Commented Mar 24 at 5:00
  • @Bingming then what does it mean? Can you explain in an answer?
    – user34109
    Commented Mar 24 at 5:35
  • 1
    @Bingming There are multiple schools of philosophies. Even Buddhists don't have a single sunya - there are multiple of them. Trika and Natha tradition are known to have buddhist influence, so sunya from Trika is most like to come from Buddhism. Please note guru Rinpoche came around a millennia before trika system, so I believe in the reverse influence.
    – user29449
    Commented Mar 24 at 10:13

2 Answers 2


Here is Upanishad brahmayogin's commentary for the said verse.

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According to Upanishad brahmayogin the verse is depicting what can be held analogous to Brahman for many schools that are different from Vedanta. (shunyam) by Buddhists, (prakriti) Praakruta (naturalists), (shaiva) Shiva, (Sankhya) Purusha, (Yoga) Ishana , etc.


In Yogic term the Shunya is the Turiya or Unmani State. Which is represented by Bindu. Where the outer circumference is the Kundalini Shakti and the inner void is the Shiva.

Yoga Kundalini Upanishad.:

Kundalini assumes the eight forms of Prakriti (matter) and attains Shiva by encircling him and dissolves itself in Shiva (in Sahasrara). 74.

JyAna BhAshya Tantram.:

[Above Vodhini] exists the Great SahsrAra Lotus, which is comprised of NAda-Bindu. The void in this place is SAkshad Shiva (Shiva Himself) and the circle (Vritta/Circumstance) is Supreme MahAkundali, which embraces [Shiva] in three-and-half circles and which shines with an electrifying brilliance.

YogaKundalini Upanishad 1:86.:

“Then it (Kundalini) pierces Rudragranthi, after that, (all) the six lotuses (or plexuses). Then Sakti is happy with Shiva in Sahasrara Kamala (1000 lotuses seat or pineal gland). This should be known as the highest Avastha (state) and it alone is the giver of final beatitude”.


  • 3 and half coils Signifies the 4 avasthas/states i.e., Jagrat (waking), Swapna (dreaming), Sushupti (dreamless sleeping), the Turya (fourth) and after which Kundalini goes to Parama Shiva Turyatita (that beyond the fourth).

  • As for 8 coils these are 8 Prakritis viz Earth (Prithvi), water (jala), fire (agni), air (vayu), space (akasa), mind (manas), intellect (buddhi), and ego (ahamkar) and after which it goes to the Purusha.

  • Parama Shiva is the Nirguna (Attribute Less/Incorporeal) Brahmana.

For more you can check the following sites.:

I hope this helps. Prd..

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